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Report: Crime on ASU campus decreased in 2017

The vast majority of incidents occurred on the Tempe campus, statistics show


An ASU police cruiser turns from Mill Avenue onto Fifth Street in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday, Oct.19, 2014.

There was a decrease in reported crime on ASU campuses in 2017 compared to years prior, according to annual crime statistics published by the University on Monday. The statistics are reflective of all reported on-campus offenses. 

There were nearly 1,600 reported incidents on the Tempe campus last year, down from nearly 2,000 in 2016 and nearly 2,200 in 2015. 

Notably, there was a decrease in drug and alcohol related arrests on the Tempe campus from 2016 to 2017. 

“ASU continues to make progress each year as we battle complex social problems such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, and drug and alcohol abuse,” said Morgan R. Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer, in an email announcing the report. “We remain devoted to prevention and education strategies while making resources readily available to those who are affected.”

Violent Crimes

ASU’s Tempe campus had a decrease in violent crimes last year. Specifically, there were 12 cases of on-campus rape, seven fewer than in 2016. There were four reports of aggravated assault, half of the number of reports from 2016. 

Despite the drop in rape reports on the Tempe campus, the Polytechnic, Downtown and West campuses had an increase in rape cases compared to 2016. 

There were three total aggravated assault cases on the other campuses, which was an increase from none reported last year. 

There were also 18 cases of fondling in 2017 throughout the campuses, consistent with previous years.

There were no manslaughter or murder cases on any of the campuses, which is the same as the last three years. 


The Tempe campus had a decrease in burglaries and robberies from 2016 to 2017, but auto theft almost doubled during the same time period. 

Robberies were cut in half, going from six to three. Burglaries continued to decline, down to 22 from 25 last year, which is less than half of the 57 reported in 2015. 

There were 20 reported auto thefts in Tempe in 2017, whereas there were 11 in 2016. 

Theft of all kinds increased on the Downtown Phoenix campus. There were four robberies, six burglaries, and four stolen cars in 2017. In 2016, there was only one robbery and one burglary. 

There was also a slight increase on the Polytechnic campus, with eight reported burglaries, compared to five from 2016. 

Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking

On the Tempe campus, there were 18 stalking incidents, a significant uptick from seven in 2016 and three in 2015. There were eight incidents of dating violence and five of domestic violence. 

Among the other five campuses, there were two incidents of stalking, three incidents of dating violence and two incidents of domestic violence in 2017. 

Drugs and Alcohol

On the Tempe campus, there were 256 drug arrests in 2017, down from 301 in 2016 and 325 in 2015. There were 262 alcohol arrests last year, a significant drop from 371 the year prior. At the same time, there were 738 alcohol referrals and 227 drug referrals. 

Drug and alcohol arrests on the Downtown, Polytechnic, West, Lake Havasu and Thunderbird campuses paled in comparison to Tempe’s statistics: at Polytechnic, for example, there were 16 drug arrests and 10 alcohol arrests. 

Other Notable Statistics

At the Thunderbird campus, there were no reported crimes in 2017. There was only one incident — an alcohol arrest — at the Lake Havasu campus. 

Tempe was the only campus with weapon law arrests, totaling two in 2017 and two in 2016. 

There were two total hate crimes reported in 2017, both of which occurred at the Tempe campus. The report describes those crimes as “on-campus intimidation incidents characterized by religious bias.” The three reported hate crimes from the two prior years — one in 2016 and two in 2015 — were all racially motivated, according to the report. 

The ASU Police Department encourages all community members to report crimes. Anonymous reporting is available through the ASU Hotline at 877-786-3385. 

ASU also makes available counseling and other resources for community members who are victims of sexual violence, domestic abuse or similar crimes. 

Reach the reporters at and or follow @MiaAArmstrong and @andrew_howard4 on Twitter.

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